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Christian McCaffrey, Kyle Shanahan could replicate their father's achievements

The San Francisco 49ers are back in the Super Bowl after a come-from-behind victory against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game. It will be head coach Kyle Shanahan’s second time in the big game while Christian McCaffrey is suiting up for his first.

The defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, are standing in their way to a Super Bowl victory. But if they win the franchise’s sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, their head coach and running back will duplicate what their fathers did nearly three decades ago.

Ed McCaffrey and Mike Shanahan won three Super Bowls together. The first one came during the 1994 season when they were still with the 49ers. Christian McCaffrey’s father was a fourth-year wide receiver, while Kyle Shanahan’s dad was the offensive coordinator. They helped defeat the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

McCaffrey joined Shanahan in Denver when the latter accepted the head coaching job. They helped John Elway win Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII before retiring. McCaffrey retired after the 2003 NFL season, his ninth with the Broncos. Meanwhile, Shanahan lasted 14 seasons as head coach in Denver before ending up with the then-Redskins (now Washington Commanders).

Fast forward to 2024, and Christian McCaffrey has been sensational during the playoffs. He has 188 rushing yards, four touchdowns, and 72 receiving yards. Kyle Shanahan’s system helped four players reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage this season.

Those factors could help San Francisco take the championship away from the Chiefs. What a story it would be if some familiar surnames conspire to bring the Niners their sixth Super Bowl title.

-Lance Fernandez

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